Tag / backyard chickens

Chickens Coop Care Health Issues Seasonal Care

How Much Should I Be Feeding My Backyard Chickens?

I actually get this question quite a bit.  So, it seemed only prudent to write a post about chickens and their eating habits.  By now, I’m sure that you have figured out that chickens know what they like.  They also are sometimes hesitant to try new things, like the time I plopped a whole pumpkin into the chicken run. Chickens are actually pretty easy to care for and that includes feeding backyard chickens. Did you know that chickens will not overeat?

Stories from Our Nest

Life’s Seasons

Hello friends.  I wanted to take a moment to share the past few months with you. Life has thrown us an unexpected curve.  We lost my Dad of 28 years unexpectedly this summer after dealing with some things since spring. It threw us all into a tail spin and all of us went into survival mode. It was a loss that rippled across all of our lives and the most difficult of all was watching my children have to suffer as they did. Their hearts were broken and mine broke even more than I though possible watching my own children learn how to grieve and rebound from loss.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Chicken Language: Listen to Common Chicken Vocalizations

I’m having so much fun traveling and sharing my new book, How to Speak Chicken. I can’t tell you how many emails, messages, and in-person requests that I have received to create recordings of the chickens’ vocalizations that I share and “translate in my book”. Chickens have their own language, and over the years I have been able to decipher what they are saying. I am excited to share with you my insight into some of the more common phrases. Yes, the vocalizations that you hear in the sound bits below are me. This is my “chicken voice” and how I “speak chicken” with my flock. 

Chickens Health Issues Seasonal Care

Can I Get Salmonella From My Backyard Chickens?

It is in the news again and I suspect that as the popularity of keeping backyard chickens continues to rise, so will the cases of salmonella. I haven’t really chimed in on this topic, so I think it is time. I also think that it is very important not to leave our common sense at the door, when reading the articles that are filling up the headlines. As I write this, it is chick days. New chicken keepers are going to be embarking on this amazing adventures and others will be adding to their flocks, because chicken keeping is so much fun! Here’s what you want to know.

Chickens Gardening Gardening with Chickens Plants

Luck of the Flock: Planting Clover for Chickens

chick in grass
Discovering clover for the first time.

I absolutely love to see lawns filled with clover.  Did you know that not only does it help to support the lawn but their blooms are well loved by bees? It is not uncommon for me to see the plants’ blooms buzzing with my bees. It is also beneficial to the flock, easy to grow and requires no care. It’s one of the easiest way to start gardening for your chickens.

Chickens Gardening Gardening with Chickens Plants Seasonal Care

8 Top Vines to Grow on Your Chicken Coop

I love gardening with chickens. It has been something that I have enjoyed immensely over the years. One of the most beneficial ways to maximize your space in the garden is to think vertically by adding climbing vines. This gardening trick allows you to make the most of the garden space that you have available. The perfect often overlooked place to consider growing vines is on your chicken coop. Vines provide your chickens shade, a bit of protection for aerial predators and a tasty snack that can be foraged through the run. Today I’m sharing my top 8 perennial and annual vines that are chicken safe, hardy, and delicious for both you and your flock. 

Chickens Giveaways

6th Annual Hug a Chicken Day Celebration

Wow!  It is hard to believe that six years ago I started this event. It seems like yesterday that I was down in Manhattan with the folks from Country Living Magazine . They encouraged me to start a Facebook page for Tilly’s Nest and enter the realm of social media.  Soon after I started my account, I realized how many chicken lovers were out there. It wasn’t long until I decided to create an event celebrating how wonderful chickens can be on so many levels. There was already a world egg, day but what about those girls that laid them? Chicken hugs are the best. It seemed natural to encourage folks to take a day to honor and thank their flock by sharing a chicken hug with them.  Now in our 6th year, I hope to see over 1000 chicken hugs on the Hug a Chicken Day Facebook event page. You are all invited to join us from your very own backyard. Simply post a photo on the event page and enter all these amazing giveaways from the sponsors of this year’s event. With their generosity, you can enter to treat your flock and you too. It is through their generosity that we are able to make this event what it is!  So take a peek at all these amazing giveaways below and for goodness sakes, give your girls a hug from me!

Gardening Plants Projects

Adding Raised Garden Beds in the Fall

As most of you know, late this summer we moved across town. One of the most difficult things that I had to do was leave behind what we designed and grew from nothing 13 years ago. Over those years, I turned a vacant lot into a lush oasis, filled with perennial walking gardens, blue stone patios, a fabulous chicken garden, a honeybee apiary and a lovely area of raised garden beds. My heart still pines for those gardens, wondering how they are growing without my daily tending. Weirdly, I miss my plants. I had no idea they were such a part of me.  But with change, comes new opportunities and I got a head start on next year’s vegetable garden at the new place.

Chickens Giveaways

Chickens as Organic Garden Helpers

Have you thought about gardening with chickens but just don’t know where to start? Today, I’m sharing with you some terrific tips to get started and also a fun DIY gardening project to recycle your flock’s eggshells into seedling starters.

Original Melissa Caughey -oyster cracker in garden

Sometimes I compare my backyard to an oasis. My kids spend hours playing in the grass and the garden provides fresh vegetables for my family. It’s a place where I go to clear my head, a place where all my worries drift away. Because my family and I love my lawn and garden so much, I have given a lot of thought into keeping the backyard healthy. One of the best helpers I’ve found? My flock of backyard chickens – and, in turn, the feed they eat. I feed my chickens in the morning, let them free-range and forage throughout the day and then bring them into their coop at night. Not only does this keep the chickens happy, it also helps my plants keep growing! The chickens eat insects, aerate the lawn, love eating weeds and even produce fertilizer!

Ready to add chickens to your backyard? Here are four steps to get started!